A melody will take a hold of you. It can inspire the deepest parts of your soul. Let the beat step your feet from side to side, then faster and faster. Allow the lyrics to raise your hands to the sky, then higher and higher. Feel the emotions spread a grin across your face, then wider and wider. Just like that, you are gracefully twirling about, feeling carefree and letting music dance within you.There are so many different ways to listen to music nowadays. Whether it be the radio, itunes, Spotify, CDs or classic vinyl, there is one form that has the others clearly beat. There is nothing like live music.
With festival season in full swing, artists are busy performing shows while concert goers remain booked with entertainment. I've always admired the carefree imagery of young bohemians dancing under the sun at festivals like Coachella. However, then I stop to think about what I love about live music.
From my very first concert at age 11, I discovered the connection that always returns. Songs reach out into the crowd and grab your heart. The vocalist is singing directly to you, the bassist is playing your pulse, and the guitarist is strumming the theme song of your day. It’s amazing how you can walk into a venue and then feel so completely changed when it’s time to walk out those same doors at the end of the night. It's not that that sensation can't happen to you at a festival too, I just crave a certain amount of intimacy in live music. I want to see the musicians expression as they play the song that I've blasted in my car countless times. I like to think that I have an overwhelming amount of respect for musicians. It takes a great amount of skill to be able to stand in front of hundreds — often thousands at festivals— of people. To be able to open up your soul in the hopes of a connection with another is a remarkable talent that true artists freely conquer.
So I guess what I'm getting at is that I've accepted the fact that I'm just not cool enough to make it to Bonaroo this year. Because instead of getting lost in that overwhelming mess of a festival, I actually prefer to see small shows more often and in some of my favorite hangouts.Through my recent reflections I've taken a chance to look back at the fantastic shows I've had the pleasure of experiencing in the past year. Some were melodic folk gatherings and others groovy reggae parties but all the same they struck a certain chord in my heart. I'll tell you though, I don't feel like I'm missing out at all anymore, because if my year of concerts were curated into a festival it would be one bangin' lineup of artists.
"These reggae fusionists mix uplifting rhythms and melodic rock riffs that gets fans grooving every time they take the stage. The sing-song melodies and feel-good lyrics of frontman Dylan Frost have everyone in the crowd smiling and joining in on the lyrics. The band also incorporates classic rock and indie elements in their unique brand of reggae, leading to textured flourishes like distorted basslines and crunchy guitar riffs that always inspire a dread-banging good time."
May 5, 2016
Good Old War
"Over the past three years, indie-folk trio Good Old War has captivated countless audiences with their acoustic-driven, sing-along-inspiring live performances. The Philadelphia-based band harnesses the high-spirited simplicity that makes their shows so unforgettable. Their performances debut the delicately textured melodies and multipart harmonies that have become the band's signature. Time and time again they reveal their penchant for infectious folk-pop and sharpen their sound with joyful passion."
March 17, 2016
"You could describe Foxing as introspective indie-rock, however they aren't easily pinned down to a single genre. Instead they are something wholly their own which is truly something special. Gorgeous orchestration and shimmering guitars soar at moments giving way to fervent vocals and intricate, crashing instrumentation the next. With the lyrics pulled together and culled from their lives and current real-life experiences, the band members appear open and genuine about themselves."
March 11, 2016
"Firmly a phenomenon in their home country of Iceland, Kaleo brings a gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock to a wider alternative audience in the U.S. Their isolated heritage inspires a unique take on familiar sonic elements, resulting in diversity and freedom on each and every breathtaking track."
February 23, 2016
"The British production duo makes slick, house-inspired electronic dance music that bears all the markings of your favorite club classics yet somehow defies categorization. Regardless of what you want to call their body-rocking tracks – future garage, deep house, or just plain old EDM – the effect is sultry, syncopated tuneage. Bondax adds a drummer to the mix at their live performances, and their beat-heavy sets always get fans moving with a sweat-inducing combination of original tracks and cutting-edge remixes. "
February 27, 2016
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Family of the Year
"These folk indie rockers are quickly rising to the top of the Los Angeles underground music scene with their infectious hooks and bright, sun-soaked melodies. The four-piece creates a sound as tight-knit as their namesake when they perform. The band's live shows pack a serious punch as they tear through songs with a passion and energy that can't be matched. Family of the Year keeps concert goers dancing all night long to their catchy tracks whenever they take the stage on their thrilling tours."
November 13, 2015
"Best Coast was formed as a love letter to surf rock and 1960s Southern California girl groups. According to the duo, there's no doubt which coast is best, and the band’s indie sound channels that West Coast vibe through their signature layers of distortion and reverb. It may be fall or winter, but a Best Coast concert is a sun-kissed celebration of eternal summer. While Best Coast continues to experiment with new sounds and sub-genres, one thing remains the same: the chiming guitars and lovelorn lyrics are the ideal soundtrack to bumming on the beach in California."